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Things looking good for Barlow

In talking to some folks around town lately n at the Oyster Roast Thursday, North Suffolk Rotary Club Friday morning and Suffolk Golf Course for lunch on Wednesday, the consensus seems to be that Joe Barlow in Chuckatuck appears like he will retain his seat.

This was in considerable doubt not more than a month ago, what with the anger among Chuckatuckers over the closing of the Kings Highway Bridge n which regardless of how you spin it, was Suffolk City Council’s fault. I’m not saying that in the long run their decision to push for the realigned bridge instead of taking the one that was offered is not the best for Suffolk, just stating a fact. Had they OK’d the one that was being studied, it would likely be in place by now, or close to it.

Anyway, even though he was not on City Council when the bridge decision was made, Barlow, as the incumbent, was still the most likely to take the heat over the bridge situation, collateral damage if you will.

But when Mr. Blair dropped out of the race, most observers believe that sealed Barlow’s re-election. “A three-way race is good for the incumbent,” one person told me.

I can’t help but think the pundits are correct on this one. I don’t sense any excitement or substance in the campaigns of challengers David Gray and Mary Hill. I think Barlow will be re-elected.

That leaves Holy Neck and Suffolk where incumbents Calvin Jones and Bobby Ralph are fending off what appear to be strong challenges from Jeff Gardy and Charles Parr.

There’s less than three weeks until election day and I can’t over emphasize the importance of this election. Every vote on May 2 will matter and it’s likely that nothing less than Suffolk’s future direction is at stake.

If any of the incumbents lose, it will likely collapse the thin coalition that has basically been in control of the city for the past eight years.

I’m not suggesting that if an incumbent loses, the Unified Development Ordinance will be scrapped and we’ll start ordering mobile classrooms as some are suggesting to try to scare the voters and which is nothing but baloney (The student population actually declined in Suffolk this year, I believe), just that we’ll likely see some changes in priorities.

So please get to the polls. If you like what’s going on in Suffolk, vote Ralph, Jones and Barlow. If you think it may be time for a change, vote Parr, Gardy and Gray or Hill.